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“An Impressive Place and an Impressive History”

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Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor
Ranked #3 of 54 Hotels in Luxor
Certificate of Excellence
San Diego
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“An Impressive Place and an Impressive History”
Reviewed 5 November 2011

This hotel was built in 1886 and is truly a stunning place. We were in Egypt with our daughter and granddaughter (18 years old) as they had always dreamed of seeing Egypt. We had stayed at the Winter Palace on a prior trip, but our daughter and granddaughter were just stunned by the grandness of the place and loved it. In fact my granddaughter keeps saying that this is the one place she wants to go back to.

Our rooms were in the old original section and had high ceilings with large French doors that opened on a small balcony facing the garden. After having just done a lot of hot, hectic Egypt touring, this was truly an oasis of peace and luxury.

When we got settled after arriving, we had lunch at L’Oasis, in the garden area out by the pool. It was very nice to just sit out there and have a pleasant lunch. The one objection I had though was that in the evening the bars and restaurant have dress codes. Since this was a trip to tour Egypt neither my husband nor the girls had brought “dress up” clothes, so we could not go into the bar or the restaurant. Luckily we had eaten a late lunch, so just did not have dinner that night.

The service here is good, but a little reserved. The staff did not seem quite as outgoing and friendly as we had found most of the Egyptions to be. Not sure why.

I did have one interesting experience. When we arrived I was hot and tired and in the bathroom was just about the biggest bathtub I had ever seen. I proceeded to start filling the bathtub with bubble bath and crawled into it. Only problem was that when it was full the water would not shut off and the drain was stuck. I had to call my husband, who finally got the drain loose, and then had to call the hotel to send someone up to turn the water off. While I was sitting on the bed in one of their big bathrobes, it took about 10 different men, arguring back on forth as to how to solve the problem, to finally get it shut off. Needness to say I never did get the bubble bath.

Room Tip: The garden view rooms in the old section are really nice.
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  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Kathleen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 November 2011

My boyfriend and I stayed at the end of our holiday for 1 night.. and wished it could have been longer.. Our Nile view room was huge and the views were amazing.. as you are overlooking the main street you do hear the hustle and bustle of every day life.. but personally I felt that added to the charm of the hotel...The hotel is over 100 years old and has a colonial style feel to it.. I felt like I had stepped back into a small part of history ....The gardens are gorgeous as is the outdoor pool area .. this is a Grand Dame of a hotel- its in pristine condition (in a slightly old fashioned way) and we loved the whole character of the hotel.. the bar is wonderful ...we didnt eat in the famous 1896 restaurant(I peaked in and the dining room is stunning- though expensive menu and really for very special occasions in my opinion).. we opted to dine outside in the lovely italian restaurant in the evening ... the food was nice in a lovely setting & very good service throughout (i wasnt blown over by the cuisine throughout my holiday to be honest- but Im not sure egyptian food is renowned for being exceptional!).. the breakfast in main restaurant was excellent however as was the lunch by the food (the hamburgers were v.v good!!)...this is a real 5 star and yes the price reflects that - but you get what you pay for... however if you don't have the budget then I suggest you consider the Pavillion.. this is an annexe next to hotel (in same grounds)though run by The Sofitel team - i went and had a look at the rooms there- they were a good size/modern -and looked very comfy i would say good 4 star level.. you also use all of the facilities of the main hotel including the pool, though it has its own breakfast room..(all rooms overlook the gardens)and is much less £££... BUT if you do have the budget to splash out then then Winter Palace is a must!!

Room Tip: The Nile rooms offer stunning views- maybe worth paying supplement for a luxury rooms which are bigg...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank DJL3131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wilmslow
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2011

I visited this hotel in September, travelling with 2 girlfriends. I have always wanted to see the Valley of the Kings and the other historic sights nearby. Having read the reviews, I was excited about my stay.

I was staying in a Nile view room and it was the best view of the Nile. Yes, its a little noisy at night time but this is just general noise that dies down early evening. The garden rooms are exceptionally quiet, but to stay in this hotel with such wonderful sunsets over the Nile, the early evening noise was worth it.

All of the staff are really helpful especially Christine in guest services. When I was ill she very kindly offered to sit with me. I became unwell, having spent the day at another hotel with my friend. During the night I had to call the Dr. He arrived very promptly and visited me for the next 3 days to administer treatment and generally check up on me. When the hotel staff became aware I was ill, they couldn't do enough for me. The chap who serviced the minibar in the room went out of his way to make me mint tea to settle my stomach.

The hotel is full of history and culture, I half expected Poirot to appear! Great historical pictures etc all over the hotel. I think the restaurants, sitting rooms and bars all had great character. We took a peek in the Royal Suite, it was delightful.

The gardens are beautifully maintained and the pool area is huge, plenty of sun loungers and attentive staff.

My only criticism is the standard of food. Its quite expensive and not that special, it could do with an outstanding chef which would draw in the visitors and keep guests in the hotel. It was really quiet when we were there and its a shame to see the hotel so empty.

My stay was marred by me being unwell. however, I would go back to see all the sights I missed out on and I would stay here again. I really liked it.

Room Tip: The 3rd floor Superior Nile View rooms are without doubt the best unobstructed view of the nile, per...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank AngelWilmslow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2011

I have visited this hotel since 1996, some times staying or just to have a drink and watch the sun go down. This is what we did 2 weeks ago and what a difference since my visit last year.
Unhelpfull staff and dodgy prices for drink. I was with friends and they were very disapointed
with the whole visit. If you go make sure you get a bill....

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
8 Thank CHRISTINERED
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reno, Nevada
Level 6 Contributor
261 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2011

Classical Historic Hotel. It is old, but a view back in time to historic opulence. Another one of King Farouk's hang outs. He had one room and his staff and Harem filled the rest. 6-Star service right on the famous Luxore Corniche. Do not be put off by the many taxis and caleche (horse carriage) drivers out front. We are very biased because we were upgraded free of any additional charges to the Royal Suite...a $5,000 a night room anywhere in the world. Walk the gardens in the back of the hotel.

Room Tip: If you are lucky enough to get into one of their suites you will never forget these unbelievably app...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Eddie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2011

The Old Winter Palace is the pre eminent hotel in Luxor, it’s run with typically stylish French flair.
My wife and I were lucky enough to stay in the hotel in October 2011. From the outset when we were upgraded, we had an excellent stay. The hotel is well over a hundred years old so you should not expect ultra modern fittings and fixtures. The rooms range from the modest but acceptable to extremely grand with totally over the top décor and furniture.
It’s easy to be critical of even the best run establishments, in the case of the Old Winter Palace you must remember that it is effectively in a modest size city half way up the Nile, it will never be the like a Sofitel or similar in a major city. The staff are helpful even if their English can be a bit on the poor side. The only major criticism is that they play appalling muzak! Over and over again, please please get a new CD. On a couple of occasions I saw ashtrays left unemptied. Apart from that everything runs reasonably smoothly.

Rooms.
The beds are very comfortable with 400 thread count sheets, although the in room brochure refers to a “threat” count. Bathrooms are marble and as good as you would expect in Egypt. Good flat screen TV’s with so so picture quality. Mini bars and plenty of towels and toiletries as well as Bose radios, the selection of music stations was not to our taste. It would also have been nice to have an Ipod dock.

Food
The 1886 is good solid French food, maybe a little too formal? Fun for a special occasion or as an opportunity to dress up. The guitarist is a nice touch but as he plays slow music on an electric guitar I bet he would like to play Leyla!

Breakfast
Good range of hot and cold foods. Served from 5 30 am.

L’Oasis
Oh dear…this was the one bad meal, the orders were mixed up and the food was poor. Maybe chef was off that night, also as it’s outdoors and there is very little lighting, it’s almost impossible to see your food, which was fortunate as it was very poor.

Pool side restaurant
Good simple food, served by a huge pool in a tropical garden, bliss. They serve free fruit kebabs at various times of the day.

The pool and gardens are exceptional, being well kept and very private.
This is not a hotel for young children, most of the guests are European and well heeled middle aged couples or single ladies, something there seemed to be a great deal of………including one extremely elegant lady (English?) who wore a different designer dress each night and stunning shoes. If you are that blonde lady my wife and I greatly admired your dresses and shoes.

There are two massage rooms available, at $40 for an hour they are good value, single sex only. They are in the basement and a bit tucked away. The therapists are reasonable but not as good as those at the Luxor Hilton, but the Hilton is very expensive.

If you are visiting Luxor do try and stay at the Palace. There is a cheaper wing called the Pavilion, you can use all the hotel facilities, but at a fraction of the cost.

Luxor contains 80% of all Egypt’s ancient monuments; even if you only have a passing interest in history make sure you go at least once.


Before I posted this review I read some of the comments from previous guests, I think it may be helpful to comment on them as objectively as I can.

The first thing to be aware of is that all the heads of state who visit Luxor, stay at this hotel, Sarkozy, Blair etc (I know he wasn’t HOS) . Whilst we were there the US Ambassador was a few doors down from us complete with heavily armed guards outside her room. The comments about poor standards of English are perfectly fair. As a native English speaker and someone who travels widely for work and pleasure I can confirm that the level of English spoken is quite poor. It is also very noticeable that with a few small exceptions the staff are all male. There are some female room cleaners, a guest relations lady and one waitress by the pool. As I noted, there is a high proportion of single female travelers in the hotel. I think before we cast aspersions about the male staff we should be a little more culturally sensitive. There is no excuse for women to be pestered, however were it a flirty Italian waiter rather than an Egyptian we may be a little more indulgent?
The breakfast room has had it’s overhaul, it is perfectly acceptable for a hotel of this standard, it is not up to Paris or London standards but this is not Paris or London. Which leads me onto a key point we must remember……….Luxor is a long way from anywhere; I could be picky about portion controlled butter, oversweet pastries or average quality European vegetables. When writing about countries that are not third world but certainly not European, we need to be a bit realistic and aware of the limitations of transport.
We have stayed at the Luxor Sheraton , which is a nice hotel but the food is poor, most of the other hotels serve ersatz European food. The exception is the Hilton, good food in the pool side restaurant. This is a shiny new hotel on the banks of the Nile, great facilities but a very very pricy spa. If you like modern, then this is for you. It is however some way out of town and has no real gardens to speak of, great location though.

My earlier comments about cultural sensitivity apply to being hassled in Luxor, there is no work apart from tourism, they will hassle you as soon as you step out of your hotel. The room cost is often a month’s wages to local workers, so let’s get a bit of perspective; we all need to make a living. Smile, hold your hand up and say very clearly “Enough” they will stop them, the phrase “ I walk like an Egyptian” also works. If you do take a Kalesh please make sure the horse is well fed and ideally the driver doesn’t use a whip. Before you get into a Kalesh or a taxi, agree the fare in advance, add 20% tip at the end.

Room Tip: Nile view rooms are the best, but garden view are quieter.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank UKsimon59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rotherham, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2011

Having originally been booked into the Pavillion wing of this hotel as part of a tour,my friends and I were upgraded to the old building on our arrival.A dream come true for me-this has always been on my "wished to do but unlikely due to cost" list!
It,s true that compared to the newer hotels,an old building such as this has it,s faults,but we had no complaints whatsoever-lovely large rooms with a bathroom you could hold a party in!The grounds are superb,the food good and the service well up to standard.We had no complaints.
Considering its history,this hotel was,for us,a magical place to stay-you could really imagine Howard Carter lounging in the lobby trying to sell his paintings when he hit hard times.This is a hotel linked to a bygone age-perhaps it could do with some tweaking here and there but by and large it is a very classy place,as reflected in the usual price.I feel very fortunate that due to current circumstances of a dearth of visitors,we were able to indulge ourselves in luxury usually out of our reach.
Our only gripe was the price of the bottled water-50 Egyptian Pounds for a large bottle!Daylight robbery-when you can get the same in the Souk for 3!Be warned!

Room Tip: A Nile view room,of course,is the ultimate-but you really have to pay for it!We had gardenview rooms...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Alison S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SofitelWinterPalace, General Manager at Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor, responded to this review, 16 October 2011
Dear guest, thank you very much for your kind review. We are very glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. The large bottle of local water is sold by the pool restaurant for 18 EGP(about 2,4 Euro). Only Evian, Perrier and San Pellegrino are sold at a higher price as these are imported. We try to offer a good balance between product quality, variety and price. By importing some requested products, we increase the choice for our guests. Thank you again for your kind feedback and we are looking forward to welcome you back to the Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor. Kind regards, Christian Ruge
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Additional Information about Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor

Property: Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor
Address: Corniche El Nile St, Luxor, Egypt
Phone Number:
Region: Egypt > Nile River Valley > Luxor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Luxor
#5 Romantic Hotel in Luxor
#5 Business Hotel in Luxor
#10 Family Hotel in Luxor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor 5*
Number of rooms: 92
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Winter Palace, built in 1886 on the Nile banks in a tropical garden is a magical experience of history luxury that hosted royalties and celebrities throughout the years. Winter Palace offers the mythical atmosphere with the modern decor comfort of a 5 star hotel. It is located in the city center, just minutes from Luxor Temple and the airport. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor Hotel Luxor
Accor Winter Palace Luxor
Winter Palace Luxor
Sofitel Luxor
Luxor Sofitel
Old Winter Palace Luxor

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